Midland Rallies to Top Doane
Going into Saturday's contest with Midland Lutheran College, the Tigers had two areas of concern: limit MLC's rushing attack and limit turnovers. Unfortunately, the Warriors were able to run up 340 rushing yards and four touchdowns while Doane committed five turnovers. The Warriors scored four of their five touchdowns following a Doane turnover.
Doane jumped on the board first with Anthony Dunn finding Eamonn Feeney on the first drive of the game. Following a Brian Luera interception, the Tigers marched down field again and Dunn found Micah Marvin for another touchdown and Doane jumped out to a 14-0 lead.
The Warriors were forced to punt after three plays to start the second quarter but a muffed punt return by Tyrone Curry was recovered by Midland Lutheran and they took hold of the momentum. MLC marched 42 yards over eight plays to get on the scoreboard and cut the Tiger lead in half. The Warriors came back to tie the game following an interception.
Curry took the ensuing kickoff for Doane and raced 36 yards to the MLC 45-yard line. The Tigers chewed up the remainder of the clock and Andrew Nielsen converted a 31 yard field goal to put Doane ahead, 17-14, at halftime.
The second half started with the Doane kickoff going out of bounds and followed with MLC marching 39 yards on 11 plays but the Tiger defense held strong and stopped the Warriors on fourth down at the 21 yard line.
Doane fumbled on their next possession and Midland took their first lead of the game following a touchdown. Dunn was intercepted on the next drive and Midland took it 24 yards on three plays to build a 28-17 lead over Doane. The Warriors added their final touchdown following a missed field goal as they went 80 yards on 14 plays, their only scoring drive longer than 45 yards.
The Tigers came back with a Dunn to Blake Erickson 38-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 35-23 after the missed point after. Doane went for the on-side kick and recovered and Midland was unable to pull it in.
Doane moved down field but the drive ended when Dunn was intercepted for the third time in the game at the 3-yard line. The Tiger defense held the Warriors down and forced a punt and Doane drove it to the two-yard line where they had first down. Midland's defense took their turn to step up and they kept the Tigers out of the end zone on four tries.
For the game, the Tigers ended with more total yards than the Warriors, out-gaining Midland Lutheran 374-364. Doane also had more first downs, 26-19. Outside of losing the turnover battle, Doane was minus-3, Midland's key stat was on fourth down where they were 5-of-6 for the game.
Khalid Waters and Darious Bentley each rushed for over 100 yards for Midland and Eric Hart scored three touchdowns. Michael Vargas led Doane's rushing attack, posting 39 total yards while Dunn and Tim Reed each finished with 32 net yards on the ground.
Dunn posted 264 yards through the air as he completed 26-of-42 passes. Joshua Deines was 5-of-11 for 24 yards for Midland.
Erickson finished with eight receptions for 124 yards and a score. Curry added five receptions and 44 yards. Midland was led by Eddie Pertilla's two catches for 24 yards and the lone touchdown reception for the Warriors.
Defensively, Ryan Gruntorad finished with 11 total tackles for the Tigers. Dalton Ryba added 10. Clayton Kolling, Josh Milz and Steven Wardlaw were in on eight tackles each and Wardlaw posted 1.5 tackles for loss.
The Tigers will have a week off before traveling to Sioux Falls, S.D., to take on the No. 1 ranked Cougars at 6:00 PM on their Homecoming night.